Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-01-2022, 06:19 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2022
Posts: 15
Cool Ideas on fridge/freezer

Just started conversion on a 4 window short bus and wondering what everyone has found go be good portable freezers/fridge. Of course I will need a space saver.
Thanks New skoolie

Lisab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2022, 11:29 AM   #2
Almost There
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: Peru. IN
Posts: 98
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: NB18FD Oshkosh
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 18,500
Is your camping style on gird all the time?

Off grind all the time?

That makes a big difference in how you chose.

Myself I have 12 volt freezer/refer. But it only can do one function at a time. The new build will get a second one so we have one of each.
PhilipE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2022, 11:30 AM   #3
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: topeka kansas
Posts: 1,312
Year: 1954
Coachwork: wayne
Chassis: old f500- new 2005 f-450
Engine: cummins 12 valve
Rated Cap: 20? five rows of 4?
here is what I did

1) bought used, wynter 45 qt paid $300 We were in the bus going from kansas to north carolina. I kept an eye on marketplace stuff for sale. we bought two 12 v refrigerators . both used. one of them was still in the box unassembled.. we paid about 60% of the new price. the other one is some no no name brand.

2) two 45 quarts...... because if one stops working I dont lose all my stuff in the fridge. I used top opening chest type. one is mounted right up front and we can access pretty easy on the road.... we travel in a group of 8 most of the time. The other fridge is more in the rear closer to the "kitchen"

3) I run directly from 12 v no loss in converting 12v up to 120v. I wire the connector directly into the bus 12 volt power system. Fuse the power connection! Those silly cigarette plug in things are ridiculous. These dont use very much power. I had one for a week on engine batteries in the bus and I did not see enough voltage drop in a weeks time to bother with charging or anything.

william
magnakansas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2022, 12:05 PM   #4
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 116
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird Mini-Bird 24'
Chassis: Chevy P30
Engine: Chevy 6.2L Diesel
Depending on your budget, and your intended purpose--specifically considering how much time you expect to be hooked up to the grid, you can go a few different ways.

IMHO, one of the best routes, for a full-conversion, would be to scout out one of the tri-power (12VDC/120VAC/Propane) units designed for a normal RV, or try to find one second-hand. Probably the most expensive, but should always work.

If not, and you're expecting to have grid power more than not, you could get a small dorm-size fridge and power it off an inverter while you're off the grid. Probably the cheapest overall, although a quality inverter will cost you... But you're probably already planning on having one.

If you're planning on being off-grid for most of the time, then I would pay the money to get a real 12VDC unit, which will suck some juice, but if you're planning on being off-grid that much, you're probably already planning on some solar anyhow. The other option is to find a propane unit, perhaps slightly cheaper, perhaps slightly better, but you'll be dependent upon refilling your propane every so often.

If you're planning on being in an area with temperature extremes, I would avoid the cheaper 12VDC lunch box' units, as they're using a heat pump system that won't get cold enough in extreme heat, or will freeze everything in extreme cold.
Albatross is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2022, 03:11 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Illinois
Posts: 14
Year: 2010
Coachwork: Federal Coach
Chassis: Ford E450
Rated Cap: 26
I use an ARB zero. I use it with 12v, it uses almost no power they are pricey, but worth it! I tried a dometic 12v last year and it used 3x the power of the ARB. The vibration (humming) from it also drove me crazy! It was 600$ vs the $1200 arb. It also had a freezer but only froze in the back half.
I would buy the arb again any day. Since its portable you can also take it in a car trunk etc. I set it on 33 degrees and put the meat at the bottom.
Touring4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2022, 03:50 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2022
Posts: 15
At this time it would just be for occasional use. Want to be able to be completely self efficient tho. Thanks for thr iinfo.
Lisab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2022, 03:51 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2022
Posts: 15
Sounds perfect. Thanks ��
Lisab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2022, 05:02 PM   #8
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Suburbs of Winterset, OH
Posts: 410
Year: 2005
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: FS65
Engine: Mercedes 6.4L
Rated Cap: just the 2 of us
My wife and I have been talking about this...on our first bus, we used a huge ice chest that doubled as a bench for the dinner table. We are leaning heavily that way again...but this time, I'm looking at the ice chest with the attached back rest like those used on fishing boats. Advantage being that they are made to bolt to the floor. They have a center drain so that will be easy to accommodate. Of course, how you intend to use your skoolie makes a big difference. Ours will be vacation trips, so buying ice every 3 or 4 days is ok.
BarnYardCamp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2022, 08:56 AM   #9
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: West Ohio
Posts: 2,873
Year: 1984
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 1753
Engine: 6.9 International
Rated Cap: 65
Well, a compressor fridge is much more efficient then an absorption one. If you don't plan on having or using propane, then IMO skip over absorption units altogether. If you don't know what the difference is, google it, but the moral of the story is that most camper/rv fridges (dual and tri units) are absorption units. They're horrible when it comes to electric efficiency, so if you don't already have propane in the plans, don't get one.

After that, you need to decide if you'll be battery or shore power primarily. It's more efficient to run the unit on your primary source of power. And if that's battery, then stick to a DC unit, as you won't have converter efficiency losses(and failures) to deal with.
__________________
My build: The Silver Bullet https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/p...llet-9266.html
Booyah45828 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2022, 03:41 PM   #10
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Winnemucca, NV/Reno NV
Posts: 186
Year: 2003
Coachwork: 2003 Thomas E-350 shorty
Chassis: E350
Engine: 7.3 Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 24
Chest freezer

I have a 4 window E350 bus. I use a 3 cu.ft. chest freezer with a temperature controller set at 38 degrees. Works perfect as a refrigerator, and runs off house battery and 210 watt solar panel. However its not portable.
__________________
If it isn't grown, it has to be mined
elkoskoolie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2022, 03:45 PM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
Unpluggedone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Meridian, Texas
Posts: 40
Year: 1967
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: Dodge S500
Engine: Dodge 318
Great 12/24 volt fridge & freezer

SunDanzer makes super efficient true DC 12/24 volts units in fridge or freezer chest style along with a modest fridge/freezer upright that totally rocks. Been running both completely off grid for years. Check out www.SunDanzer.com. Message me and Iíll get you pricing
Unpluggedone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2022, 07:06 PM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 25
Touring4, I'd never heard of the ARB, so I visited their website and was expecting something that looked like a refrigerator in an RV but this looks almost like a cooler.


Is my assessment correct, looks like and is used like an electric ice chest?
jbeech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2022, 10:49 PM   #13
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: topeka kansas
Posts: 1,312
Year: 1954
Coachwork: wayne
Chassis: old f500- new 2005 f-450
Engine: cummins 12 valve
Rated Cap: 20? five rows of 4?
jbeech

No, the arb stuff I have seen are compressor driven refrigerator/freezers. in the size of a ice chest.....

The last one I saw for sale used, the owners wanted $1000.

the electric ice chest stuff usually cools 30 degrees below ambient temperatures.

The compressor drive refrigerators I have seen will go at least 20 degrees or colder - depending how they are set up.

I have two of them. both are around 45 quart capacity. If one fails, I would not loose all my cold food storage and would still be able to put ice in the one that failed.

engle and whynter seemed to come up at the top of many reviews and testing.... but ,,,, these are not in use enough to that anyone has been able to put together a really good long term side by side test... I have one whynter brand and some other off name brand.

Keep the air ducting to the ports in the case as cool as you can. You can add quite a bit of insulation if you were to encase the fridge in a box of foam.. in essence put double the insulation. again have to keep those air ports open and feed as cool as you can.... I have a fridge right next to a heater... I put a plastic heat shield between them so the hot/warm air from the heater has to take a convoluted path to the fridge....

The stuff coming out of Australia is usually pretty tough, there is a lot of rough, hot country.... if gear for camping and "off grid" survives that enviroment, I would say that is a pretty good test.

I have been on a MADE IN USA kick for about ten years now... Many cases I cannot buy made in usa and feel like I can afford it. so.... I buy most stuff in close to new condition, but it is not new and I dont pay new prices. For the money I spent, I feel it was worth it.

I hope this helps your decision making rather than muddle it around.

william

william
magnakansas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2022, 01:02 AM   #14
Bus Nut
 
Rwnielsen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 701
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC1000, 40' MPV
Engine: 5.9 Cummins/B300 trans
Rated Cap: U/K
Like William said these guys are pretty popular with the RV crowd. They make a wide variety of sizes and most are refer/freezer type. I'm looking at a 65l for a freezer.

https://www.whynter.com/product-cate...dges-freezers/
Rwnielsen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2022, 09:02 AM   #15
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 25
I don't rightly belong in this group because instead of a converted bus, I own what is called an Expediter. This, converted for camping (wouldn't be in any wise accurate to say it's an RV other than meeting the minimum requirements for securing insurance and title). Anyway, I use same for visiting model airplane flying events (3-4 days, maybe a week, maximum) held out in a field in the middle of nowhere for the purpose of flying model airplanes and helicopters, or racing boats and cars. This, fundamentally is just a place out of the weather in which to stay and work on my models during the event. However, while a cooler and ice have largely sufficed (principally because there are always food vendors if not the host club itself engaged in cooking up food), cooking per se is more of a 'want' versus a need because we're not really in the middle of nowhere but within a brief drive of civilization. This, versus those of you genuinely going off into the boondocks. Anyway, what attracted me was Touring4's mention of consuming very little 12V electricity because while the truck has a four battery bank (used for it's own purposes, e.g. engine starting), I've been considering adding some LiFePO4 batteries separate from those (I use 90Ah in a 27 size format for model purposes so adding a half dozen would give me some useful possibilities). Thus, my ears perked up at his mention of the ARB unit. At present I have installed a diesel powered generator unit plumbed into the mains (90 gallons) and basically run the inside of the box off 110VAC (power outlets, lights, microwave, television, and soon because Musk announced it, a mobile Starlink satellite, etc.). But nevertheless, sailboats, RVs, etc. use 12VDC to good effect so my mind has been veering down the path of investigating this. Finally, for the curious (and to save a Google regarding what an Expediter is), this is mine. Basically an over-the-road commercial truck equipped with dog house for sleeping but with a 24' box of the type usually found in local delivery trucks.
Attached Thumbnails
Moby.jpg  
jbeech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2022, 07:52 AM   #16
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2022
Posts: 15
Thanks for all the help everyone. You all have helped me decided what route I need to go.
Lisab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2022, 10:29 AM   #17
Bus Nut
 
ISAF2009's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Bay area
Posts: 323
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Bantam
Engine: International T444
Rated Cap: 16?
I run an alpicool t60lg we had it running in the garage for a year as a beer fridge before I even installed it in my 4 window bus it works great.
ISAF2009 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Today, 11:02 AM   #18
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 15
Year: 2001
Chassis: Chevy Kodiak
Engine: 3126B
Rated Cap: 27K
In case your still interested in mounting ideas..... This is my apocalypse mount from one of mine. Good for off-roading, mountain climbs and easy swap outs. Feel more at ease about me bouncing off the appliance stack than them bouncing off me.
Attached Thumbnails
Apocol.jpg  
Tin Roadtube Vagrant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Today, 11:30 AM   #19
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Illinois
Posts: 14
Year: 2010
Coachwork: Federal Coach
Chassis: Ford E450
Rated Cap: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbeech View Post
Touring4, I'd never heard of the ARB, so I visited their website and was expecting something that looked like a refrigerator in an RV but this looks almost like a cooler.


Is my assessment correct, looks like and is used like an electric ice chest?
Hey, sorry I missed this! Its a sideways fridge, but you can use it as a freezer. I think it goes down to 7 degrees. Normally I keep it at 32.
Touring4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Today, 01:18 PM   #20
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 25
Does it look anything like the one in the photo immediately above your response? You know what they say, a picture is worth a 1000 words!
jbeech is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:24 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.